I feel stuck.  I have been doing consulting in the Big 4 for around 10  years now and it’s just getting old.  I took the test and I am burnt out.  I took the other test and it appears that I may not have a good job and then I took another test and it shows me that I am an ISTJ. After you get the  result from that personality test it provides links to jobs that may be good for that type and I am already in those jobs and have been most of my 13 year career.

I feel like I have been trying to get out of consulting for years now, but now that I look at the openings that exist in my market that are outside of consulting, it appears that I don’t have the skills to do those and it feels  like consulting is the only thing I can do (which is not the case….I’ll admit to having a broader skill set than just being a consultant).  I don’t know where to start to get unstuck.  I need to reinvigorate my career and find interest in what I do or I need to find something else.

I am risk averse though.  My wife quit work 3 years ago to stay at home with our four kids.  We live comfortably on my salary, but I can’t take a massive pay cut to get into something that would potentially make me happier.  That will just lead to more stress.  Also, I am rooted firmly in Columbus.  All of my family is here and it’s a good place to raise a family.

I need to find something where I get some kind of fulfillment.  Telling  people all of the things they do wrong and how they could be better isn’t doing it for me lately.  I’m 36 and I feel like I hit a wall.  I am  unmotivated and constantly thinking about how can I get a new job that will provide something closer to an 8-5, will keep me off the road and will let me be more present in my kids lives.

My hope is that someone else has emailed you about this before and you can just copy and paste that answer here, but I know one size does not fit in with career advice.  I ordered a couple of the books you referenced on your site as well, so I am hoping that they provide some guidance or perspective.

Any insight you could provide would be much appreciated.

I’m in my mid-twenties and I’ve found that whenever I start a job, after a few days or so, I start feeling trapped and stuck.

I fear the regular routine of the job, being stuck in the 9-5 (or whatever my hours are) and being forced to work for the money versus doing something I love with a mission I care about. I’ve tried working for things that I believe are doing great things for the world (kid-focused startup and working with kids, which I’ve learned I’m not good at) and I still feel like that. Any kind of job with routine (even varying retail jobs and the like) scare me and thinking about applying to a job with more challenge in it (not getting that out of my current job) but that same routine worries me that I’ll be stuck there for a year or two working on building my skills for the better but still trapped inside a prison even if it is at a well-funded startup.

I’m an INFP programmer who loves logic and hopes to start my own startup someday as I get frustrated with not being able to make my own decisions. I’m not sure if I should go forward with my plan to find a job with that routine while I get great to build my skills for my own startup someday or if I should try to find something without that routine and if so, what? It doesn’t feel like most people have that same reaction to the stability of doing the same thing every day. About the only thing I know is I’m sick of not having money and I need to find something that allows me to have that. What should I do?

I am a 41-year-old single mom who needs to change the direction of her working life as a matter of mental survival. I’m a classic ENFJ kind of person and have been working behind a desk in isolation (I work in a suite of offices but the nature of our work is to remain quiet and alone) and it’s been wearing down my sanity.

I am absolutely in love with advertising and have always been but when I was young I didn’t choose to study it; it was too intimidating for me then. I’d love to be an ad account executive someday but getting started seems impossible from where I’m sitting. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on (marketing, too – it’s much drier but important to understand the basics) and bothering ad people for advice on how to get my foot in the door.

I have about two years to update my skills (before my daughter graduates from high school and I can focus on a career and/or live wherever I need) but very little money in which to make that happen. I can’t be a full-time unpaid intern; I have to pay bills and feed two people. I can be an evening and weekend person who is poorly paid, but with the abundance of free labor out there it’s tough.

I have a BS in Psychology, an MSW in Social Work and a strong background in writing and research. By nature I’m a collaborator, diplomat, convincer and intuitive, but those qualities can’t be put on a resume. I am not stubbornly stuck on working in advertising; something that is stimulating in a similar way would be wonderful, as long as it’s focused on people and ideas.

If you have any thoughts or advice for me I would very much appreciate either.

I work for a luxury apparel company – great group of people, but I’m not being creative and I feel like life is on repeat….sitting in an uncomfortable chair, staring at google and and eating my ritual salad. I am so not a ritual person.

I’ve had lots of life experiences, lots of jobs. I’m just trying to figure out what I’m passionate about and where I fit in in the job world. Do you have tips or models on how to narrow down your field of work you want to be in? I feel like I have so many things I enjoy and want to explore and its completely overwhelming at times. Well, all the time. I’ve done the pros and cons list over and over again. I just can’t nail it down. Any advice on how to nail it would be so great.

As a general rule of thumb, should people with ADD go on their own? I am trying hard at my third thing in three years and I am finding that I still make a lot of mistakes. It gets to a point where I space out and lose time. I try focusing and buckling down, but things still go bad.

A recent post on your blog talks about having challenging goals for which you can focus your energy on. You also mention you need to be able to make money doing it. Does that mean the only worthwhile goals that you focus on and try to reach everyday are ones that you can eventually make money from?

I am lost. I know it’s ok to be lost, but I would love your insight about what career fields I might try. I am 26, and have worked at 2 nonprofits. I am bored at work. I am so bored that I’ve started waiting tables at night so I can be challenged and push myself and work 70 hours a week. I love to work. I want a job that is so hard and challenging and so tough that sometimes I cry in the bathroom at lunch. I want to use my brain and my energy. The problem is I don’t know where to go, what industry might be a good fit for me. Do you have any ideas?

I’m a 25 year-old with a bachelor’s in English. While I was going to school I worked in the university library and loved it. In my last semester of school I decided I wanted to be a librarian as a career, but it was too late to change my major.

Now I work at a large insurance company. I hate how stressed out it makes me, and I want to get back into a library.

The problem now is that most library jobs require a Master’s degree, and I don’t have one. I’m worried that with so few openings, even if I get my degree, I won’t be able to get a position, and that time and money will be wasted.

What’s the best course of action in this case? Is it too late for me to get into an academic field like library science, not having had planned to go into it from the get go?

Mailbag was my favorite part of your site. Why did you stop writing it?

I am a new graduate, who did a bachelors degree in political sciences from University of Toronto. I got married soon after graduation. Almost 2 years into my marriage and with an new kid, I am planning to go back to work. However, I am searching for balance-friendly career paths, that can be good for women who would like to work and take care of the family. So I believe, that your career advice is really helpful, and if you could add more on this topic that would be great!